Purple Olive: Twenty Years of Mediterranean-Influenced Dining

I love being able to wine and dine, and it is even better when I can share it with my loved ones. And that I did when I arrived at Purple Olive, a restaurant open for almost twenty years in St. Augustine, Florida, this past Thanksgiving break. My bestie Sydney and I arrived at this cozy restaurant, located only a few steps from the beach.

After we settled into our seats we looked over the menu, which had a Mediterranean flair and plenty of fresh options. Before any bites, we had to get our drink on! Sydney ordered a Sangria, which she reports was a juicy and full body red wine with delicious fruits that tickled her tongue. I opted for the mocktail, with a light and aquatic flavor profile and whispers of citrus and sweetness.

Now… on to some good eating with us mixing and matching various dishes:

Grilled Eggplant: Veggie lovers, fear not – for the Grilled Eggplant is a must-have dish. When it arrived it reminded me of a French Onion soup, but when I dug in, a steamy aroma of melty cheeses, tomato sauce, and gnocchi greeted me. The play between salty, savory, and creamy worked together with the bites of eggplant in the middle that filled me up with every scrumptious bite.

The Mediterranean Flatbread: A culinary delight with feta cheese, spinach, tomatoes and olives. This creamy, salty, and fresh flatbread was both indulgent yet light, and sates the authentic Mediterranean palate.

Macadamia Crusted Salmon: Seafood lovers will flock to the prized fish dish on the menu: Macadamia Crusted Salmon. A Mango Rum Butter that glazes a tenderly cooked filet of salmon on a warm, soft bed of rice that had Sydney dancing in her seat. I took a few bites and agreed as the flavors united for a complex and savory dish.

Grilled Lamb Lollipops: Looking for a delicious bite of meat? Grilled Lamb Lollipops might be the choice for you, as it was for me! A rack laid upon a stew of spiced lentils and drizzled with Pomegranate Molasses and Mint Vinaigrette was one of my favorites of the evening. The lamb was easy to bite into and paired with the sauces for a savory-sweet-fresh mouthful. Robust and earthy flavors of the lentils added a whole other dimension that satisfied my appetite and left me wishing for more.

Baked Brie in Puff Pastry: If you adore a charcuterie board, you’ll rave over the Baked Brie in Puff Pastry dish. When it arrived at the table, Sydney and I oohed and ahhed at the first slice. The gooey Brie complimented the fruit arrangement of strawberries, blackberries, apples, and cantaloupe. The topping of raspberry sauce and almonds tied the dish together beautifully.

Key Lime Pie: I adore this Floridian staple, Key Lime Pie. This one presented a coconut graham cracker crust that paired fabulously with the key lime flavor. The whipped Chantilly Cream was the perfect touch, and this was a refreshing end to a bountiful dinner.

Chocolate Gateau: For the chocolate lovers who simply cannot get enough, try the Chocolate Gateau. This Chocolate Ganache dessert has Pecan Crust and Grand Marnier Cream. A blend of nutty, crunchy, chocolate-y come together in a single bite that is equally sweet and smooth. Sydney raved about this final course even as we drove back home, already wishing she had another slice.

Purple Olive is casual yet dressy enough for date night, special event, or just a solo meal when you’re in Florida. Stop by at 4255 A1A South, Ste 6, St. Augustine, Florida 32080-7427